Truman, Harry S., COL

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Field Artillery
Last Primary MOS
1193-Field Artillery Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Field Artillery (Officer)
Primary Unit
1932-1953, 1193, HQ, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
Service Years
1905 - 1953

Field Artillery


Two Overseas Service Bars

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Truman, Harry S. (WWI), COL.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address

Date of Passing
Dec 26, 1972
Location of Interment
Harry S. Truman Library - Independence, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired US Army Retired (Pre-2007) World War I Victory Button Army Honorable Service Lapel Pin (1920-1939)

World War I Honorable Discharge Chevron

 Unofficial Badges 

Artillery Shoulder Cord

 Military Association Memberships
Post 8The Army and Navy Union USA Famous People Who Served
  1920, American Legion, Post 8 (Member) (Kansas City, Missouri) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1950, The Army and Navy Union USA - Assoc. Page
  2018, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Harry S.Truman enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1905 as a private.  He had previously applied to West Point but was turned down because of poor eyesight.  His original eye test produced the results of 20/50 in the right eye and 20/400 in the left.  He stayed in the Missouri National Guard and served in it until 1911 attaining the rank of Corporal.  With the onset of American participation in World War I, he rejoined the Guard, re-enlisting in April, 1917.  This time he passed the eye test by secretly memorizing the eye chart.  Being 33 years of age, with some college behind him, he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant on June 22, 1917 and helped to organize the 2nd Regiment of Missouri Field Artillery (Battery F)  His unit was sent to  Camp Doniphan, adjacent to Fort Sill, near Lawton, Oklahoma for training.  While here, Truman quickly organized and ran a Canteen which proved popular and profitable to the Regiment.  His unit was called into Federal Service on September 5, 1917 as the 129th Field Artillery, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division.  They continued their training until being called to France for battle.  They shipped on the U.S.S. George Washington and arrived in Brest, France on April 13, 1918 and within a month Truman was promoted to Captain (Apri 23, 1918) and took charge as Commanding Officer of the 129th Field Artiillery Battery D.  Captain Truman attended a course of instruction at the Second Corps School at Chatillon-sur-Geine, France from 27 April to 5 June, 1918.  In July, 1918, the Officers and men of the 129th Field Artillery moved to Camp Coetguidan in Brittany for advanced training in the use of the (French) 75mm field gun under simulated combat conditions.  Here Truman took Command of D Battery of the 129th Field Artillery Regiment.  Battery D was composed of 188 men; 167 horses, and a compliment of French 75mm guns.  On September 6, 1918, the 129th under Captain Truman engages in their first combat operation in the Vosges Mountains.  Early in September, 1918, the 129th Field Artillery undertook one of the longest and most brutal road marches of the war, from the Vosges Mountains to the Argonne forest.  Over 100 miles of crowded, muddy back roads to the new American Sector.  This march and the five days of intense combat that followed were the ultimate test for Battery D.  His Battery also provided support for George S. Patton's tank brigade during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He participated in the Vosges, Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. During a sudden attack by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains, the battery started to disperse; Truman ordered them back into position using profanities that he had "learned while working on the Santa Fe railroad." Shocked by the outburst, his men reassembled and followed him to safety gaining the support and admiration of his men who willingly followed him for the rest of the war.  In the closing weeks of the war the 129th Field Artillery moved into action for the final time to defend the old battlefields of Verdun.  They fired their last shots 15 minutes before the Armistice took affect on November 11, 1918.   Battery D had fired more than 10,000 shells during the war and under the Command of Captain Harry S. Truman, the Battery did not loose a single man.  The 129th returned to the United States on the S.S Zepplin arriving in the U.S. on 20 April, 1919.  Captain Truman was discharged honorably on May 6, 1919 at Funton, Kansas.  A month later, on June 28, 1919, after returning to Independence, Missouri, he married his childhood sweetheart, Bess Wallace.  They had one child, Mary Margaret (Feb. 17, 1924 - June 29, 2008).  He became the 33rd President of the United States of America in 1945 - 1953.  His parents were John Anderson Truman (1851 - 1914) and Martha Ellen (Young) Truman (1852 - 1947).  He had a brother, John Vivian (1886 - 1965); and a sister, Mary Jane (1889 - 1978).  His education consisted of the Presbyterian Church School in Independence, Missouri and graduation from Independence High School (now William Chrisma High School) in 1901.  He attended the University of Missouri in Kansa City, Missouri and Oxford University n England.  He shortly re-joined the Missouri National Gaurd as one of its reserve officers and was appointed Major in the Field Artillery Officers Reserve Corps on January 10, 1920.  He was reappointed on January 10, 1925 and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Field Artillery Reserve on May 27, 1925 and thereafter reappointed on May 27, 1930 and was promoted to Colonel, Field Artillery Reserve, on June 17, 1932.  Here he remained until his retirement with that rank on January 31, 1953.  He was postumously awarded the United States Congressional Gold Award in 1984.  He was a Baptist and a Mason most of his life.  In fact, here is his Masonic Record:  


Initiated: February 9, 1909, Belton Lodge No. 450, Belton, Missouri. In 1911, several Members of Belton Lodge separated to establish Grandview Lodge No. 618, Grandview, Missouri, and Brother Truman served as its first Worshipful Master. At the Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, September 24-25, 1940, Brother Truman was elected (by a landslide) the ninety-seventh Grand Master of Masons of Missouri, and served until October 1, 1941. Brother and President Truman was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council on October 19,1945 at the Supreme Council A.A.S.R. Southern Jurisdiction Headquarters in Washington D.C., upon which occasion he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class. He was also elected an Honorary Grand Master of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. On May 18, 1959, Brother and Former President Truman was presented with a fifty-year award, the only U.S. President to reach that golden anniversary in Freemasonry.       

The war was a transformative experience that brought out Truman's leadership qualities; he and his war record made possible his later political career in Missouri.

He served as member of the Senate from 1935-1945, as Vice-President to Franklin Roosevelt 1945, and President of the United States from 1945-1953.

President Truman along with his wife, Bess, is buried at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.

Information about his later career, service as President of the United States can be found in references below.


Other Comments:

Chronological Record of the 129th Field Artillery

August 5, 1917-Molibized as 2nd Missouri Field Artillery in Kansas City, Missouri, except Batteries C and E which mobilized in Independence, Missouri.
September 26, 1917-Entrained for Camp Doniphan, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
May 10, 1918-Entrained for Camp Mills, Long Island, New York.
May 20, 1918-Sailed for overseas (except E Battery, which sailed on May 18th and F Battery which sailed on May 27th), via England, and entering France at L'Havre.
June 11, 1918-Billeted in Angers area.
July 7, 1918-Entrained for Camp Coetquidan, near Guer, Brittany.
August 17, 1918-Entrained for Vosges.
August 19-20, 1918-Detrained at Saulxures.
August 23, 1918-Moved into position in Gerardmer Sector, in Vosges Mountains, with echelon at Kruth, Alsace.
September 1, 1918-Relieved from positions.
September 3-5, 1918-Billeted at Vagney and Zainvillers.
September 6-10, 1918-Billeted at Ville-en-Vermois and Coyviller, southeast of Nancy.
September 10-12, 1918-On march.
September 12-15, 1918-In Army Reserve in Saint Mihiel Offensive, in Foret de Haye.  September 15-22, 1918- On march.
September 22, 1918- Took position on Hill 290, northeast of Neuvilly, with echelon at Aubreville.  September 26-30, 1918-In action in Argonne-Meuse Offensive in support of 35th Division.  October 1-2, 1918-Continued in action in support of 1st Division which relieved 35th Division.  October 5-12, 1918-At Seigneulles, north of Bar-le-Duc.
October 15, 1918-Took position in Sommedieue Sector, on Meuse Heights east of Verdun in support of 35th Division.
November 7, 1918-Remained in support of 81st Division when 35th Division was relieved. In action in new offensive toward Conflans and Metz.
November 11, 1918-At 11am ceased firing as per orders on account of Armistice.
January 22, 1919-Moved to Bar-le-Duc area.
February 17, 1919-Reviewed, with 35th Division, by General Pershing and the Prince of Wales. Entrained for Le Mans area.
March 29, 1919-Moved to Camp Pontanezan, Brest.
April 9, 1919-Sailed for home on S.S. Zeppelin.
April 20, 1919-Landed in Hoboken and billeted in Camp Mills, Long Island.
April 30, 1919-Entrained for home.
May 3, 1919-Parade and reception in Kansas City, Missouri, then proceeded to Camp Funston, Kansas.
May 6, 1919-Final discharge issued at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas.
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 National Guard Awards

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
ARNG, Missouri2nd Field Artillery Regiment1st Battalion, 129th Field ArtilleryU.S. Army
35th Infantry DivisionHQ, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
  1905-1905, HHD, Missouri Army National Guard
  1906-1908, HHD, Missouri Army National Guard
  1909-1911, HHD, Missouri Army National Guard
  1917-1917, 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
  1917-1918, 1st Battalion, 129th Field Artillery
  1917-1918, Camp Doniphan
  1917-1919, 1193, 35th Infantry Division
  1918-1918, USAT George Washington
  1918-1918, 1st Battalion, 129th Field Artillery
  1918-1918, Camp Mills, NY
  1918-1919, 1st Battalion, 129th Field Artillery
  1919-1919, Camp Mills, NY
  1919-1919, Camp Funston
  1932-1932, HQ, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
  1932-1953, 1193, HQ, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1918-1918 World War I/St. Mihiel Campaign
  1918-1918 World War I/Meuse-Argonne Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
University of Missouri-Kansas CityOxford University, England
  1921-1923, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  1956-1956, Oxford University, England
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Apr 24, 2013, General Photos8
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